Why We *Should* Remove the Word Should From Our Vocabulary

Freeing ourselves from the confines of *should* immediately lightens our load, removing the cloud of burden hovering over us, leaving us lighter and happier.

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Courtesy of Crispy Fish Images/Shutterstock
Courtesy of Crispy Fish Images/Shutterstock

When it comes to wellness and nutrition, most of us have a general idea of what’s good for us: Dial back on sugar and white carbs. Add more plants to our diets. Exercise regularly. Get at least seven hours of sleep a night. 

It can be hard, though, to fit it all in. Especially when there’s a long road between where we’re starting out and where we want to be in terms of our wellness goals, just getting it all together can feel like a lot of pressure.

So when we use the word should, we’re only adding more pressure, more guilt, when we’re already feeling a bit defeated.

I should go to the gym more. I should cook at home more. I should be keeping a food journal.

We feel as if we’ve failed when we haven’t successfully accomplished what we’ve told ourselves we should be doing. Yet we’re so overwhelmed by our laundry list of *shoulds* that we don’t even know where to start.

So here’s what I suggest to friends and clients who have a tendency to overuse the “S” word:

Focus on the positive, on all of the incredible things that are you are doing. Give yourself the credit and recognition you deserve, just like you would if a friend shared these very same accomplishments with you.

And instead of saying that we *should* do something, start to shift our words and our perspective to say that we would like to do xyz. Or that we plan to do this. And recognizing that it’s okay if it doesn’t all happen immediately – or at all.

Freeing ourselves from the confines of *should* immediately lightens our load, removing the cloud of burden hovering over us, leaving us lighter, happier, and ultimately more satisfied with all that we truly have accomplished.

Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD is a registered dietitian + nutrition journalist in New Orleans. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MollyKimballRD. See more of Molly’s columns + TV segments at www.mollykimball.com.

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